Wednesday, 08 December 2021 17:09

JV Raiders edge Southern Lee in conference opener

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Sophomore Jada Zimmerman lays in two of is 13 points in Richmond's victory. Sophomore Jada Zimmerman lays in two of is 13 points in Richmond's victory. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Starting the three-game sweep of Southern Lee High School on Tuesday, the Richmond junior varsity boys’ basketball team defeated the JV Cavaliers 69-59.


The 10-point win began a 3-0 night for Richmond’s teams, as the varsity girls’ and boys’ programs also earned Sandhills Athletic Conference wins.

Sophomore David McNair kept his scoring streak hot, leading the JV Raiders in scoring for the third straight game with a season-high 27 points. He had 16 points in the first half, including 10 in the opening period. 

Sophomores Jada Zimmerman (13 points) and Toby McInnis (12 points) also reached double figures for the JV Raiders.

“David stepped it up again and his fast start in the first quarter set the tempo for the rest of the team,” head coach Kenta Hutchinson said. “He was the difference maker offensively and he’s been in the zone.

“It was also good to come back home and get the win in front of our home crowd,” he added. “Jada and Toby are our bigs and they play hard to earn their points. Both of them battled tonight.”

Trailing 5-0 early, McNair went on a 7-0 run by himself to put Richmond ahead. A triple from the right corner with 1:55 left extended the lead to 18-10.

Sophomore David McNair (left) drives to the basket during his 27-point performance. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

McInnis chipped in with 7 of his 12 points in the first, ending the final 1:20 on a 7-0 solo spurt. He sandwiched a three-pointer from the corner with a pair of putbacks.

Adding 4 points to help the Raiders jump out to a 25-12 lead after the first was Zimmerman. Freshmen Raymond Knotts and Keidreion Crump both had two points. 

The JV Raiders led by as many as 13 points early in the second, but saw their lead cut to two points, 31-29, after a 13-2 run by the JV Cavs.

McNair hit a three-pointer and added a field goal and a free throw to cap his first-half scoring. Zimmerman scored Richmond’s first 4 points of the second, hitting a pair of layups in transition.

Freshman Keyonta Davis, who ended the win with 6 points, knocked down a pair of foul shots in the middle of Southern Lee’s run. At the break, the JV Raiders led 37-30.

Richmond used a 12-4 run in the third stanza to take a 15-point lead into the fourth. Two field goals and two free throws from McNair added 6 points, and both Davis and Knotts chipped in a basket.

Crump and McInnis each tacked on a shot from the charity stripe to make it a 49-34 lead.

Six Raiders combined to score the team’s final 20 points in the fourth quarter. McNair and Zimmerman netted half of those points with their final 5 points each.

Davis added a bucket under the hoop to start it off, McInnis hit a putback and two free throws to end his scoring and Crump made a free throw.

Freshman Gage Stewart became the final of the seven players on the team to tally points, completing an old-fashioned three-point play with 24.8 seconds remaining in the game.

Sophomore Toby McInnis puts a shot up in the second half of Richmond’s win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

“Going from game to game, the guys are getting better with rebounding and boxing out,” Hutchinson said. “The guys are talking on defense and know their spots, and are also making good shot selections.

“I’ve also been preaching patience,” he closed. “Especially with Friday’s game against Pinecrest since they always do the small things right. I’m proud of the guys for controlling what we can control on the floor.”

Richmond (3-2, 1-0) will return to the floor on Friday for a road game at Pinecrest High School. Play will begin at 6 p.m.

Note: The Richmond junior varsity girls’ basketball team did not play on Tuesday since Southern Lee doesn’t have a JV program this season.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: ROSports_